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China's media criticises anti-US protests at KFC outlets as jingoistic

on Jul 21, 2016

Chinese state media has criticized anti-US protests outside KFC outlets across China as jingoistic, saying they do "a disservice to the nation".
The protesters are angry about an international tribunal ruling rejecting China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.
The case was brought by the Philippines, a US ally which has a competing claim in the area.
State newspapers said the authorities were "calling for rational patriotism".
KFC has more than 4,000 branches in China and is often seen as a symbol of US influence in the country.
How big have the protests been?
Not huge, but animated.
In recent days, small groups of protesters have gathered outside KFC outlets, starting in Hebei and spreading to other places including Changsha and Hangzhou, media reports said.
They have shouted anti-US slogans and held up banners with the words "Get out of China, KFC and McDonalds".
In some of the videos of protests which were posted to Sina Weibo, police can be seen intervening.
What have state media said?
The state Xinhua news agency said: "This is not the right way to express patriotism."
The China Daily newspaper said: "Instead of being patriotic, it is their jingoism that does a disservice to the spirit of devotion to the nation.
"Those who organize such activities without going through the necessary procedures and unlawfully harass others in the name of patriotism should be held accountable according to the law."
Both the China Daily and the People's Daily newspaper said police and media organizations were "calling for rational patriotism".
In China, protesting without seeking permission from the authorities is forbidden.
But what does KFC have to do with the tribunal?
Nothing. However, China has accused the US of encouraging its ally, the Philippines, to challenge China in the arbitration tribunal.
The tribunal ruled there was no evidence for China's claim of historic rights to the waters or resources within its "nine-dash line", and that it was violating the Philippines' sovereign rights with its operations there.
China has been engaged in vast amounts of construction on various disputed islands and its maritime authorities have been involved in altercations with Philippine fishermen in the Scarborough Shoal area.
China refused to participate in the proceedings and rejected the findings.
Is it just KFC?

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Thousands of people from Hong Kong and Taiwan have signed up to a satirical Facebook event to offer "apologies" to China.

on Jul 19, 2016

The "First Annual Apologise to China Contest" allows people to send in their regrets on how they might have wronged the People's Republic, the Hong Kong Free Press news website reports. According to the website, one person has apologised for having three children in the face of Beijing's now abandoned one-child policy; while another on the Facebook page is sorry for wearing New Balance shoes, the global brand which was ruled to be infringing upon the Chinese brand "New Barlun" in a Chinese court.
It's apparently a reaction to videos released by celebrities recently, apologising for actions and comments deemed to be insulting to China. One of these apologies features Taiwanese pop singer Chou Tzu-yu, whose apology for waving a Taiwanese flag during an online broadcast - an act deemed offensive on the Chinese mainland - has been viewed on YouTube over seven million times. Hong Kong actor Wong He made a similar apology in January after suggesting former Chinese leader Zhou Enlai "may be gay" and for posting a picture of the Dalai Lama on his Facebook page.
Such apologies are an important business. Actors and artists who don't send their regrets for actions deemed "anti-China" are often boycotted or sacked. US singer Lady Gaga was reportedly added to the "banned list" after meeting with the Dalai Lama last month.
The apology idea has struck a nerve with Chinese-language readers, with the Facebook campaign page attracting over 12,000 likes and thousands of comments. One Taiwanese user taunts mainland Chinese readers, saying: "The Taiwanese people are holding their first contest to apologise to the Chinese people, but you'll have to bypass the internet censors before you can see it. We are so sorry!"; while another says "In Taiwan we can freely and openly criticise our President Tsai Ing-wen, and the leader from our neighbouring country Xi Jinping. So sorry, China!"
Web users in mainland China have taken to the Weibo messaging service to snipe back: "I'm sorry that you're seeing all those actors and actresses apologising to China so that they can keep making Chinese yuan!" says one. Another sends his apologies for not falling for phone scams originating in Taiwan: "I have received many messages from my Taiwanese compatriots wanting to give me free iPhones and gifts, but I have never replied. I apologise for not accepting your goodwill!"

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Turkish President Erdogan appears in Istanbul to denounce army coup attempt

on Jul 16, 2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has flown in to Istanbul, after an army group said it took over the country.
He was seen surrounded by cheering supporters, saying in a live TV speech that the coup attempt was an "act of treason" and the army must be cleansed.
Sixty people died during overnight clashes, many of them civilians, and 754 soldiers were arrested, officials said.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the situation was largely under control.
He has ordered the military to shoot down aircraft being used by coup plotters.
Earlier, one of the helicopters being flown by forces involved in the coup attempt was shot down over the capital Ankara.
Meanwhile, the whereabouts of the military chief of staff, Gen Hulusi Akar, are still unknown. He is reported to have been taken hostage by rebel soldiers.
Gen Umit Dundar, commander of the 1st Army, has been appointed acting chief of staff.
Sporadic gunfire is still reported in major cities.
Reports also say rebel soldiers in some areas have been surrendering their weapons to police loyal to Mr Erdogan.
The surrender of one unit of 60 soldiers, who had taken control of one of the Bosphorus bridges in Istanbul, was shown live on TV on Saturday morning.
Istanbul's main Ataturk airport is now under army control, and flights - which had been interrupted for some hours - were due to resume from 06:00 (03:00 GMT).
In a statement, the Turkish foreign ministry said the coup attempt "was foiled by the Turkish people in unity and solidarity. Our president and government are in charge".
"Turkish Armed Forces was not involved in the coup attempt in its entirety. It was conducted by a clique within the armed forces and received a well-deserved response from our nation."
It is unclear who is leading the coup faction or how much support it enjoys.
The group earlier declared that a "peace council" now ran the country and there was a curfew and martial law.
Soldiers were seen at strategic points in Istanbul, with jets flying low in Ankara.
Two large explosion were also heard near Istanbul's central Taksim Square.
There were also reports of blasts at parliament building in Ankara. MPs were believed to be hiding in shelters.
Broadcaster CNN Turk was reportedly taken over by soldiers, and its live broadcast was cut.
In Washington, US President Barack Obama urged all parties in Turkey to support the "democratically elected government".
Nato called for "full respect" for Turkey's democratic institutions.
European Council President Donald Tusk said the country was "a key partner for the European Union".
"We call for a swift return to Turkey's constitutional order," he added.
'Parallel structure'
Speaking in Istanbul in the early hours on Saturday, President Erdogan promised to clean up the army.
"Those who drive around in tanks will have to go back to where they came from," he said.
He also dismissed the coup leaders as "terrorists".
Mr Erdogan earlier told CNN Turk by mobile phone the action was by a "parallel structure" that would bring the necessary response. He has used this term in the past to refer to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric he accuses of fomenting unrest.
Fethullah Gulen: Powerful but reclusive Turkish cleric
However, in a statement, Mr Gulen rejected any suggestion he had links to the events.
"I condemn, in the strongest terms, the attempted military coup in Turkey," he said.
Mr Erdogan had called on people to take to the streets to oppose the uprising.
He said: "I urge the Turkish people to convene at public squares and airports. I never believed in a power higher than the power of the people."
The president said he had returned to Istanbul from the holiday resort of Marmaris in the south-west of the country. He said the town was later bombed.
Defying the announced curfew, a number of Erdogan supporters turned out on Taksim Square in Istanbul late on Friday.
There were reports of clashes there, with some on Twitter saying that gunfire had been heard near the square.
After the military takeover was announced, a statement from the group was read out on national broadcaster TRT. It said that the democratic and secular rule of law had been eroded by the current government. There would be new constitution, it said.
Mr Yildirim told NTV by telephone: "There was an illegal act by a group within the military that was acting out of the chain of military command. Our people should know that we will not allow any activity that would harm democracy."
Traffic was stopped from crossing both the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges in Istanbul.
Gunfire was also heard outside Istanbul police HQ and tanks were said to be stationed outside Istanbul airport.
Turkey's military coups
1993 - Claims of a "covert coup" intended to prevent a peace settlement with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
1980 - Military coup following armed conflict between right-wing and left-wing groups in the 1970s
1971 - Military coup known as the "coup by memorandum", which the military delivered instead of sending out tanks
1960 - Coup by group of young military officer outside chain of command, against the democratically-elected Democrat Party

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Newlywed, Iraq Veteran Among The Dallas Police Officers Killed

on Jul 09, 2016

Three of the five Dallas police officers killed in a sniper ambush on Thursday night were publicly identified by officials or relatives and included a newlywed and a Navy veteran of three tours in Iraq.

Seven other police officers and two civilians were wounded in the shooting at the end of a protest over this week's killing of two black men by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. The shooter was a US Army reservist who served in Afghanistan.

Transit Police Officer Brent Thompson, 43, worked for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system since 2009 and was the first officer killed in the line of duty since the transit system formed a police department in 1989, DART said on its website.

"As you can imagine, our hearts are broken," a DART statement said.

Thompson spent more than four years in Iraq, working for private US military contractor DynCorp International as a police liaison officer who supervised Americans training and mentoring the Iraqi police force, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Thompson was married to a fellow DART officer, local television station WFAA reported, citing DART Chief James Spiller. USA Today reported that they married about two weeks ago and that Thompson was also a father and a grandfather from a previous marriage.

He attended the police academy at Navarro College in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and later taught classes there, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Thompson's Facebook page reflected the life of a devoted father, with numerous photos of family posted to his account. "My family," Thompson wrote in a caption accompanying a photo on his Facebook page. "I'm so blessed."

Thompson posted numerous pro-police memes on his Facebook timeline, some of which mocked the "Black Lives Matter" movement and accused US President Barack Obama of not adequately supporting law enforcement.


Navy veteran Patrick Zamarripa, 32, who served three tours in Iraq, was one of the dead police officers, his family told Reuters. He served in the military reserves as well as working as a Dallas policeman.

His uncle, Hector Zamarripa, said by telephone that Zamarripa was a proud Mexican-American who leaves behind a wife, their toddler-age daughter and a stepson. Although he did not speak much Spanish, he went by the name Patricio among his Spanish-speaking friends and relatives.

"He enjoyed the job, that was his calling," his uncle said .
"Addicted to the thrill of this job. I own the night. I love my Country, Texas, Family, God, Friends, and Sports! Don't Tread on Me! 'Merica," Patrick wrote on his Twitter profile.

A lover of Tejano music, he posted pictures of his daughter, selfies with other officers on duty and his love for the Dallas Cowboys football team and the Rangers baseball team.

Many of his posts were salutes to other officers. He wrote "Rest in Peace" in honor of two New York cops killed in 2014 and posted an image of an eagle with a caption: "Home of the Free because of the Brave."


Also killed was Michael Krol, a 40-year-old officer with the Dallas Police Department, according to a statement from the Wayne County Sheriff's Office in Michigan, where Krol worked as a deputy in the jails from 2003 to 2007.

"We are saddened by the loss of the dedicated officers in Dallas - one of whom was a former member of this agency - and also the wounding of the other officers," Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon said in the statement.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said in a statement that he had been notified that "one of the fallen officers in Dallas is a Michigan native who previously worked in law enforcement in Southeast Michigan." But he did not name Krol.

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Wimbledon 2016: Andy Murray beats Tomas Berdych - plays Milos Raonic in final

on Jul 09, 2016

Britain's Andy Murray beat Tomas Berdych in straight sets to reach his third Wimbledon final, where he will face Canadian sixth seed Milos Raonic.

Murray saw off Czech 10th seed Berdych 6-3 6-3 6-3 on Centre Court, and is one win from repeating his 2013 triumph and winning a third Grand Slam title.

The Scot, 29, overtakes Fred Perry in reaching an 11th major final - a new record for a British man.

Raonic earlier beat Roger Federer in a thrilling five-set contest.
Murray might have played in 10 previous Grand Slam finals but Sunday will provide a new experience - his first major final without Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer across the net.

The British number one has a 6-3 record against Raonic, and beat the Canadian in the Queen's Club final ahead of Wimbledon.

"Obviously to make a Wimbledon final is a good achievement and I've got one more to go on Sunday," Murray told BBC Sport.

"The older you get, you never know how many chances you're going to get to play in a Grand Slam final. I'm glad I managed to get through today.

"You learn from those matches for sure, those experiences in the past have helped me a lot, playing against some of the best players of all time."
Murray picked his points on the backhand, hitting 74% of those shots to the ad side then pulling the trigger up the deuce line when he needed to. As you can see in this Hawk-Eye graphic, Murray hit six backhand winners on that side despite only directing 26% of his backhand shots there.

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on Jul 07, 2016


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on Jul 05, 2016

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